Pelosi warns Netanyahu: Speech to Congress will hurt Iran talks

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this week warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his coming speech before Congress threatens to sink the nuclear talks between Iran and the United States.

Pelosi meets with Assad

“I think that such a presentation could send the wrong message,” the House Democratic leader told reporters during the Democrats’ annual issues retreat in Philadelphia. “That’s my view, and I shared that with the prime minister today.”

A Pelosi spokesman said Pelosi and Netanyahu spoke by phone earlier in the day. The spokesman declined to characterize Netanyahu’s response.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) raised eyebrows last week when he announced that Netanyahu had accepted his invitation to address a rare joint session of Congress early this year — an invitation extended without consulting Democratic leaders in Congress or the White House.

Boehner defended the action, saying Congress has every right, as a separate branch of government, to operate without the administration’s input. But Pelosi was quick to criticize Boehner’s move as a breach of protocol, saying such invitations to heads of state have always been preceded by consultations with leaders from the opposing party.

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